The DITO Telecommunity Corp franchise was approved by 17 senators, with Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan voting against and Senator Panfilo Lacson abstaining. (File Photo: Senate of the Philippines / Facebook)
MANILA – On the last day of the session before the Easter week break, the Senate approved the franchises of DITO Telecommunity Corp., another telecommunications company, and four broadcasting companies on Monday.
Senator Grace Poe, Chair of the Public Services Committee, steered the adoption of the measures.
The DITO Telecommunity Corp franchise was approved by 17 senators, with Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan voting against and Senator Panfilo Lacson abstaining.
Previously, the telecommunications sector was dominated by SMART / Philippine Long Distance Company and Globe Telecommunications.
Poe said DITO Telecommunity’s entry as the new major player in the Philippine telecommunications market would fuel competition for more affordable and better Internet and cellular services available to more Filipinos.
House Bill 7332 seeks to extend DITO’s franchise for another 25 years. DITO holds a convention franchise through Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc., which is scheduled to expire in 2023.
DITO, which was launched commercially in various areas in Visayas and Mindanao on March 8th, has been selected as the new major player in the Philippine telecommunications market. A five-year network rollout was conducted to realize its commitment to provide at least 84 percent of the country’s population with mobile data connectivity of at least 55 megabits per second (Mbit / s).
The Senate also approved House Bill 7615 under Committee Report No. 207 on its third and final reading to grant the Instant Data Inc. franchise.
Another four broadcast franchise applications approved in third reading were. These are:
House Bill 7488 seeks to grant the Davao City Radio Broadcasting Station franchise, according to Committee Report No. 212. Given the Davao City government’s primary disaster risk reduction agenda, they plan to set up a community radio for emergency response and preparedness. The station is also used to broadcast advocacy campaigns as well as programs and projects of the city.
– The House Bill 7616 seeks to renew the electoral law of the system of the University of the Philippines, taking into account Senate Act 1462 according to Committee Report No. 214. DZUP 1602 is the University of the Philippines’ official radio station broadcasting in Mega Manila, Central Luzon, and Southern Tagalog. The radio programs are the cooperation of the different colleges and units of the university.
– House Bill 8553 seeks to extend the Palawan Broadcasting Corp. franchise under Committee Report No. 217. to renew. Currently, the Palawan Broadcasting Corp. via radio stations in Taytay and Coron, Palawan, and in Catbalogan, Samar. In its early days, the company specifically worked on urgent personal messages known as “Panawagan”. After it was closed during martial law, it resumed broadcasting services in 1986, integrating news, education and entertainment formats.
– And House Bill 8860, taking into account Senate Bill 2059 under Committee Report No. 221, seeks to break the Highland Broadcasting Network Corp. franchise. that will provide broadcasting services in northern Mindanao in unserved and underserved areas, particularly in agricultural towns.